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  • U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders with Debbie Almontaser, founding principal of Khalil Gibran International Acedamy at the Islamic Society of North America's Convention in Houston, Texas, U.S. August 31, 2019.

    U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders with Debbie Almontaser, founding principal of Khalil Gibran International Acedamy at the Islamic Society of North America's Convention in Houston, Texas, U.S. August 31, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 1 September 2019

Bernie Sanders said that he was “deeply concerned” about the situation in Kashmir and asked the United States government to speak out against it. 

United States Senator Bernie Sanders Saturday condemned India’s action on Occupied Kashmir at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention.

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The Democratic Presidential hopeful said that he was “deeply concerned” about the situation in Kashmir and asked the United States government to speak out against it. 

India’s action is unacceptable. The communication blockade must be lifted immediately and the United States government must speak out boldly in support of international humanitarian law and in support of a UN-backed peaceful resolution that respects the will of the Kashmiri people,“ Sanders said. 

Sanders also received flak from right-wing Hindu nationalists of India saying that his speech on Kashmir was influenced by his campaign manager Faiz Shakir whose Muslim identity pushed Sanders to speak for Kashmir. 

Sunday marks the 28th day of communication blackout in Kashmir. 

India’s decision has been condemned by many international politicians like Jeremy Corbyn and Ilhan Omar. 

U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar wrote on Aug. 26, “We should be calling for an immediate restoration of communication; respect for human rights, democratic norms, and religious freedom; and de-escalation in Kashmir. International organizations should be allowed to fully document what is happening on the ground.”

Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and shadow Culture Secretary of the United Kingdom Tom Watson also sent a message of solidarity to Kashmiris. 

“ As millions face a humanitarian crisis, I have sent a message of solidarity from Labour to the people of Kashmir. We call on the UK govt to ensure UN resolutions are fully implemented. The people of Kashmir deserve no less,” he said Saturday. 

Massive protests are being organized worldwide after India removed Article 370 on Aug. 5 which gave the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir special status and then divided the state into two union territories which means the central government will directly rule them.

More than 4,000 Kashmiris have been arrested since Aug. 5. Most of them had to be flown out to Delhi as the prisons in Kashmir can't hold any more prisoners.​​​​​​​

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